うーん, まだまだブレインストーミングに時間かかり過ぎだな. きっとまだまだ妄想力が足りないんだろう. しかしまぁ, うまく時間制限をかけてあげればTOEFL iBT writingの良い練習にはなりそうかな.
Unit 1, Lesson Review Task
1. What are your goals for learning English? Why?
There is one specific goal for learning English; specifically, because of this purpose, I take this Tutorial English course.
I want to brush up my speaking skills because I am planned to visit Czech Republic to work as an intern on this summer vacation, through IAESTE Exchange program. In this program, I will work at a software engineering company in Prague, Czech, so I am required somewhat high English abilities, such as to fluently and efficiently communicate and to discuss some technical problems. However, there are few opportunities to speak English in Japan; subsequently, my English speaking skills will rust out even if I read a lot of English textbooks. To solve this problem, this course, Tutorial English, clicks with my purpose to achieve, so I took it to improve my English speaking skills higher to overcome problems I will meet this summer.
2. Explain why it is important to clarify the meaning of something you haven’t understood. Give two examples of Conversation Management language, from the front page of your textbook, in your answer.
Clarifying the meaning of what I have not understood is definitely beneficial for my future works, for the following reasons.
First, I will meet same problems anyway if I leave clarifying the meaning of a word. In addition, clarifying the meaning may take some bothersome steps because there are words which have many meanings in it. However, I can cut such waste time if I just say "What does xxxx mean?" at that time. As this example shows, clarifying the meaning is beneficial for future works.
Additionally, I can expand my vocabulary network if I use the phrase, "What's another word for xxxx?", in each time when I meet unknown words. Expanding vocabulary has a positive influence on my images, such as my image of maturity, which may make what I say in discussion persuasive.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that clarifying the meaning of what I have not understood is beneficial for my future works.
Unit 2, Lesson Review Task
1. Which one of your English skills would you like to improve the most? How can you work on it during this course?
I would like to improve a listening skill the most, and I hope I am able to brush it up during this course, for the following reason.
It is because comparing 4 skills, which are reading, listening, speaking and writing skills, a listening skill is the lowest skill for me, based on my TOEFL iBT score. As I said in previous lesson, I desire for studying abroad and therefore I have to take some steps. Taking a good score of TOEFL iBT, which is an examination for non-native students to study abroad, is one of the steps. I have taken this exam several times, but a listening score fluctuated widely, so I want to take a good listening score constantly. For this reason, in my opinion, I should take an advantage of this course; specifically, I should go to a booth on time and prepare for each unit before lesson, as a tutor mentioned on his comment. Doing this stuffs, I will take an advantage, and consequently I will take a good listening score of TOEFL iBT.
2. Using the language from Unit 2, describe the character of one family member, one of your friends, or a famous person you see in the media, such as your favorite musician and discuss how compatible you are with that person.
My best friend is a so strong-will person and therefore he is often described as a self-centered person. However, because of the characteristics of him, if you ask me, I am compatible with him.
First, he strongly values to spend his time for himself, which is one of the reasons why he seems to be self-centered, but he also values others to spend their time for themselves. In my opinion, because of this point of view, our relationship is so even-tempered that we get along with each other for a long time.
In addition, he always clarifies his place with strong will. If you ask me, most of Japaneses, maybe including me, tend to avoid discussing with others. I consider that they are potentially scared to lose their friends through discussion, because they are hardly educated about how to discuss in the compulsory education term. However, he does not care about such a thing, and always clarifies what points we conflict or what points we misunderstand, with strong will. Therefore, I am able to deeply understand what he thinks, so I get on well with him.
Unit 3, Lesson Review Task
1. In what ways can you use the Internet to improve your English language skills? Are these part of your study plan?
There are numerous different ways to improve our English language skills using the Internet; however, I believe that the ways related to cause interactions are the most effective ways of all ways using the Internet.
First of all, we are able to brush up input skills, reading and listening, by ourselves without the Internet, but output skills, writing and speaking, are improved only by limited ways such as interactions between learners. Subsequently, we better take advantage of improving output skills using the Internet because the Internet can cause interactions easily. For example, I have some foreign friends who are also a learner of English as well, but most of them do not stay in Japan, so we cannot meet frequently. However, some of softwares, such as Skype and MSN messenger, can connect us using the Internet. Also, the softwares can let us communicate with almost no delay, even if we have a very long distance such as between Japan and France. If we could not have used such a technology, the Internet, we have not practiced in such a way.
Hence, I believe that we can brush up our English skills using the Internet in a way to communicate with foreign friends.
2. Using the language from Unit 3, state your opinion about the Japanese education system, support it and elicit agreement.
I do not believe that the Japanese education system is the best way to bring up Japanese people. Specifically, the system should conclude an education of how to succeed a discussion, because as far as I am concerned, Japaneses often discuss same topics as what they have discussed before. Don't you agree with this problem?
Unit 4, Lesson Review Task
1. Why do you think there is an “English only” rule in the Tutorial
English booths? Do you stay in the booth during the break? Why or why not?
Some of students may say that they would like to go out from the booth to speak Japanese during the break; however, staying in the booth and talking with classmates in English provides me with motivations to study English, which can be connected with a reason why there is an "English only" rule in the classroom.
First of all, talking with classmates in English during the break encourages us to study at English much more because we are able to notice how difficult practical English is at that time. For example, when I took the break in Unit 4, I talked with Takahiro about his transfer. Being different from when the class goes on, during the break we often talk about real situations, which is a little more difficult to explain than in class activities such as a role-play situation. Therefore, we are required to explain complex things; in other words, we have the time to use down-to-earth English. Needless to say, this practical communication in English often causes miscommunication, but also it notices us that we should improve English skills to communicate better. As this example shows, I believe that talking in English during th break stimulates us to study English much more.
In conclusion, I strongly believe that staying in the booth and talking with classmates in English provides me with motivations to study English.
2. Using the language from Unit 4, introduce an issue that you are
concerned about. Why does it concern you? Is there a solution?
One problem facing Japan is so concerned about a problem that it makes the matter worse than the situation that we do not know it, because of less of information. I strongly recommend any institution and any person that are going to publish something important to inform, to consider the point of view from the opposite side. Also, ordinal people should know that information are often lacked of fairness.
For institutions and someone related to publish, what I am trying to say is that we do care about how much we can publish information fairly. Ideally, the publication should be completely fair, but defining the common fairness among all people is difficult, so I suggested we should be concerned about how much we are able to make the publication get close to be fair.
The important of fair publication is that we can consider the matter from two sides carefully and help to get know of the truth; also, it lets us prevent from being too concerned. Through the Japanese mass medias, we are easily aware that the mass medias are rarely concerned about fairness; for example, none of mass medias agree with the statement and behavior of what Japan prime minister says, even if the statement and behavior are assessed to be highly praised by other countries.
Although I mentioned above about the problem of fair publication, the solution is so simple that we, ordinal people, just know how to evaluate information, which means that we just care about what information is lacked. Some publication may have no lacked information, but considering forewarned is forearmed, suspecting published information will be worthwhile.
Finally, most of Japaneses are taken for granted that published information are fair, true, and unmalicious; however, as we cannot avoid making a mistake, and also not all people are reliable, we have to care about how to evaluate information.